Steve Cotterill spoke to the media after today's game with Fleetwood.
On what was a hugely frustrating afternoon at the Meadow, 10-man Town fell to a 3-0 defeat.
Admiral Muskwe opened the scoring in controversial circumstances for the visitors when he converted a penalty awarded after Matt Pennington was deemed to have blocked a shot - from point-blank range - with his arm.
Despite not being able to get out the way, Matt was also sent off by referee Ross Joyce in the 25th minute.
Despite playing 65 minutes with 10 men, Town dominated the ball for long spells but a Promise Omochere strike and Chey Dunkley own goal secured the points for Fleetwood.
And speaking post-match, Steve praised the character his players showed whilst playing with 10 men.
On the game:
"I think in the second half we have a lot to be proud of with it being the third game this week.
"I thought they ran their legs off. The only problem I have with the boys today is the opening 20 minutes when they (Fleetwood) were direct as anything, wasted time, killed the game.
"I thought it was a horrible game for the first 20 minutes, just big long balls out to the right-hand side here and flick-ons and all of that business so I thought it was a horrible game.
"We then grew into it but didn't do enough. I think in the second half, I thought the 10 men were excellent and I don't think they could've given anymore. I think they ran themselves into the ground.
"The goals, the second goal is a bit of a joke. The first one, the referee looked like he couldn't wait to give the penalty.
"I think he could've given a foul on Elliott Bennett 20 seconds before the third goal, we clear it to less men, they switch the play and they get a shot and it might be an own goal but either way that's irrelevant really.
"It's been a really tough Christmas period for us. I think they boys that have been going out there for nigh on four or five months, the same players, it looked like this week was a bit too much for them.
"We're not so bad when we go Saturday to Saturday with so few bodies and even when you've got the bodies back you know, how long is it going to take Aiden O'Brien or Julien Dacosta to get fit?
"I thought Elliott Bennett manfully did what he had to do today but he's not quite ready to be at the standard he was before the injury. It was a tough afternoon for the boys really."
On the red card:
"I haven't seen it back. Penno said it's hit him on the arm but I don't think he's put his arm to the ball based off what I saw in the moment. I think it's hit him on the arm."
On the spirit and character his side showed with 10 men:
"We need to show that spirit and that character when we have 11 men because we didn't do that in the first 20 minutes."